National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

National Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the minimum pay per hour most workers are entitled to by law. The rate will depend on a worker’s age and if they are an apprentice.


The National Living Wage

The Government’s National Living (NLW) Wage was introduced on 1 April 2016 for all working people aged 25 and over, and is set at £7.20 per hour. The current National Minimum Wage for those under the age of 25 still applies.


Key points

  • Most workers over school leaving age will be entitled to receive the NMW.
  • HM Revenue & Customs (HRMC) can take employers to court for not paying the NMW/NLW.

Rates of pay – from 1 October 2016 are:

From 1 October 2016 From 1 October 2015
25 yrs old and over £7.20 per hour £6.70 per hour
21-24 yrs old £6.95 per hour £6.70 per hour
18-20 yrs old £5.55 per hour £5.30 per hour
16-17 yrs old £4.00 per hour £3.87 per hour
Apprentices under 19 or 19 or over who are in the first year of apprenticeship £3.40 per hour £3.30 per hour


Penalties for failure to comply with the National Living Wage

With the introduction of the National Living Wage the penalty for non-payment will be 200% of the amount owed, unless the arrears are paid within 14 days.

The maximum fine for non-payment will be £20,000 per worker. However, employers who fail to pay will be banned from being a company director for up to 15 years.

For further information contact hrservicecentre on 0845 606 9640 or go to

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